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Veteran Fernando Alonso all set for attack at Monaco

Updated on: 27 May,2023 08:00 AM IST  |  Monaco
AP , PTI |

The 41-year-old Spanish driver has four third-place finishes in five races with Aston Martin this season.

Veteran Fernando Alonso all set for attack at Monaco

Fernando Alonso

Ten years after last winning a Formula One race, Fernando Alonso fancies his chances of a victory in Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix.

The 41-year-old Spanish driver has four third-place finishes in five races with Aston Martin this season.

“I will attack more than any other weekend,” the two-time F1 champion said.

“I come here thinking I will try to win.” While defending champion Max Verstappen leads the championship for Red Bull, it’s Alonso’s form that has captured the imagination of fans.

“If I tell you that I don’t come here thinking that I can win the race, I would lie to you,” said Alonso, who has 32 career F1 wins and 102 podium finishes.

“Because this is a one-off opportunity.” The razor-thin street circuit, where drivers often brush close to the walls, suits Alonso’s high-risk and slick driving style.

“We know Monaco, Singapore, there are specific race tracks,” he said. “You need to gain the confidence in the free practice, get closer and closer to the walls.”

Also Read: Aston Martin won’t be happy with second place: Fernando Alonso

Last win in Spain

He’ll warm up for that in the two practice sessions on Friday. Alonso was 31 when he last won on the F1 circuit, driving for Ferrari at his home race in Spain in 2013. 

He’s won in Monaco twice but not since 2007, when he was Lewis Hamilton’s teammate at McLaren and clinched victory from pole position.

Securing the pole is often crucial in Monaco because the sinewy circuit is very difficult to overtake on. So Alonso knows he needs to go flat-out in qualifying.

Beware of crashes

But while Red Bull is clearly the fastest car once again—with either Verstappen or teammate Sergio Perez winning every race—reliability issues and crashes are not uncommon in Monaco.

“If one of those things happens on a Sunday, automatically you close the gap massively and it starts to be more interesting,” Alonso said.

“The championship is long, we will not give up.” Alonso has not felt this good in a long time. “It is just phenomenal what [Aston Martin] has done, the car is so enjoyable to drive,” he said.

“So easy to drive, so fast.” Alonso said the last time he felt so good in an F1 car was with Ferrari. In 2010, he was the championship runner-up to then-Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel by four points, and in 2012 he finished second behind Vettel by three points.

Verstappen is challenging himself to beat his own F1 record of 15 wins in a season from last year.

“I want to win more than 15 races,” the 25-year-old Dutch driver said. “Every year you try to do a little bit better. You just keep that pressure on yourself. It’s nice.”

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